The longer we leave it, the worse it is getting.

The absence of some form of victory parade or large-scale official recognition for the New Zealand Black Ferns is doing nothing to quell the opinion of people who view rugby as a misogynist enclave.

The Black Ferns are world champions - they were wonderful ambassadors for their sport and country during the world cup.

There were four Northlanders in the team - Prop Aleisha Nelson, lock Charmaine Smith, outside back Portia Woodman and utility back Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali.


They flew home (economy class) with the World Cup trophy.

As far as I can recall, none of them had sex in a disabled toilet, urinated on the floor in bars or frightened a stripper.

These are all situations that male rugby players have found themselves in.

And yet our male rugby players don't fly economy and are treated like gods in this church of two islands that reveres a global minority sport as a religion.

It would be interesting to seat Portia Woodman alongside a male counterpart and ask each "how often do you have to reach into your own pocket for sports related engagements or expenses, versus how often down does New Zealand Rugby take care of these costs for you?".

If a raised hand was the indication of "yes", the male player may as well hold his aloft.

New Zealand Rugby failed to realise that the Black Ferns deserved short-term recognition.

Instead they waffled about "a long-term plan about meaningful engagement with our communities and showcasing [to] the girls and women of our communities, that rugby is a great sport to be a part of".

Indeed. But the moment is passing. If not passed.

The team could have been invited to the All Blacks' first few home tests this season, airfares and accommodation paid, given seats for themselves and at least one other, and paraded their trophy at half time or before the matches.

What a sight it would have been, to see a post-match All Black haka in recognition of their female counterparts' achievements.

Instead, now, it's just awkward and embarrassing.